Principal Investigator: 
Michelle Homan (
Gannon University
Seagrant Topics: 
Public concern and scientific interest in the potential health risks associated with pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in drinking water has increased within the past 15 years. The presence and concentration of these compounds in municipal drinking water from surface water sources is not routinely monitored in the U.S. due to the expense necessary for the complex laboratory analysis and since most of these compounds are not currently regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). While prior research studies have measured PPCPs in trace levels within raw or treated drinking water, few studies have evaluated the comprehensive human health risks from exposure to trace PPCP mixtures within drinking water.  Low cost and accurate screening methods for PPCPs in drinking water combined with risk assessment techniques may offer a useful risk management strategy for water treatment plants. Sensitive and accurate detection methods, such as the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test, may offer a low cost alternative allowing for more frequent monitoring of raw and treated drinking water. A thorough risk assessment is also an important step to avoiding potentially unnecessary and costly upgrades or advanced water treatment methods necessary to lower trace concentrations of PPCPs in drinking water when insignificant health risks exist.
The objectives of this project are:
  1.  determine the presence and concentration of 9 target PPCPs (Acetaminophen, Ampicillin, Caffeine, Metformin, Naproxen, Ofloxacin, Sulfamethoxazole, Triclosan, and Trimethoprim) in raw and treated drinking water originating from Lake Erie;
  2.  compare the rapid low-cost ELISA test to validated laboratory analytical methods (i.e., LC-MS-MS) for at least two of the nine target PPCPs; and
  3.  develop a model for estimating the human health risks from low dose exposure to multiple PPCPs.


Research Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Current or Past research?: 
Current Research

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